Written by Christian Schmidt and Ethan Kim
On February 19th, 2020, America saw another Democratic Presidential debate unfold. The back and forth fight between Mayor Peter Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar, the fall of Vice President Joe Biden, and the dichotomy of the Democratic party was all memorable in this debate. However, after witnessing thousands of TV advertisements, paid social media endorsements, and a 300 million dollar campaign, the nation observed Michael Bloomberg’s horrible night on national television.
To add insult to injury, every major mainstream outlet published an endless sea of headlines reporting Bloomberg’s embarrassing debacle. He seemed unprepared and clueless when attacks were hurled at him. Senator Elizabeth Warren attacked the mayor on redlining, stop and frisk, and racism. She also addressed the several non-disclosure agreements he signed with various women.
His responses were weak, unsupported, and poorly worded. However, his attack on Senator Bernie Sanders pointed out the millionaire had three houses. This begs the question as to why the Senator preaches about income inequality when he is contributing to the widening gap. Overall, if Bloomberg desires a shot at the nomination, he needs to focus on the voter and not the dollar.
As the democratic primaries continue, voting democrats have to choose a candidate that their party can unify under. One that does not bring extreme partisanship, polarization, or bifurcation. If the Democratic National Convention wants to beat President Trump in the upcoming election, they must nominate one with enough political intuition to address major issues.
As of now, I do not see Bloomberg as a candidate that has overwhelming political or military experience. While he has been mayor of New York City for 12 years, I am not convinced of his diplomatic experience when opening on the floor of the United Nations or his oratory skills when speaking to the people. When he announced his candidacy for President, he did not incite excitement the way Bernie does when he calls for a revolution. He appears as a weak candidate in the current primaries and will be dismantled in a general election.
Furthermore, Bloomberg’s mere presence in the spotlight of the debate should be alarming to the Democratic party and other presidential hopefuls. Considering he only decided to run four months ago and surged to third in the national polls, it is a wonder his campaign is doing so well. To add on, previous debate highlights show these events center around insulting other candidates to draw media attention.
This means there has been a decreased attention to proposals on prevalent issues. It is increasingly difficult for the average American to find a single article talking about a candidate’s position on universal healthcare, income inequality, minimum wage, criminal justice reform, and climate change. Instead, one will find long stories of bitter rivalries between candidates, petty disputes, and cleverly prewritten quips. News outlets take sides through editorials and the people become divided.
The one thing we should take away from this debate is we have to do our research to formulate independent conclusions. It becomes glaringly obvious the media and most of the candidates are more interested in pandering to party bases rather than engaging in a civil debate over the future of our country.